Open Tabs is a fantastic feature for sharing URLs to learners within your class. You can also choose to focus your students to the newly opened browser tabs for a set period of time using the Focused Browsing feature. Open Tabs and Focused Browsing sessions can now be scheduled to open at a set date and time, allowing you to set up digital lessons ahead of time and maximize your time on task with students.
When a Focused Browsing session is active, learners can’t open new tabs, swap to other tabs or browse to new sites or URLs.
- Initiating a Focused Browsing session
- Focused Browsing through login pages
- Identifying existing Focused Browsing sessions
- Ending a Focused Browsing session
- Focused Browsing and G-Suite: Gmail, Drive and Docs
- The learner experience of Focused Browsing
- Troubleshooting Focused Browsing
- Scheduling Open Tabs and Focused Browsing
- Viewing your Scheduled Browsing sessions
- Editing your Scheduled Browsing session
- Copy Past Scheduled Browsing Sessions
The Open Tabs feature allows you to open tabs on the browsers of selected learners, selected groups or the whole class, and display specified sites and/or URLs. It can open up to 5 sites and/or URLs at the same time.
To open new tabs on your learners’ screens:
- Click the Open Tabs or the link icon. This will load the Open Tabs modal.
- Enter the website URL(s) you want to open on your students’ screens. We recommend using the "https://" prefix where a login is required. If you forget it, Google will redirect your learners from say http://mail.google.com to https://mail.google.com and this will fail if https is not specified. You can access previously opened URLs by selecting Recent Tabs.
- Select your recipients. You can select an individual or multiple learners, groups, or your entire class.
- Click the Open Tabs button. Within seconds, the tabs will open in your students' browsers.
At the same time as you open tabs for your learners, you can also focus your students on the specified sites or URLs for a set period of time. When a Focused Browsing session is active, learners can’t open new tabs, swap to other tabs or browse to new sites or URLs. This helps them to work in a controlled environment (eg. timed exercise) or remove the potential distraction of site browsing.
The Focused Browsing feature options are accessed via the toggle shown below:
To focus your learners’ browsing activity:
- Click on the Open Tabs button or the link icon . This will open the Open Tabs modal
- Enter the website URLs on which you want to focus learners browsing. You can include up to 10 URLs in a focused browsing session. You can access previously opened URLs by selecting Recent Tabs.
- Select the learner(s), groups or your entire class for whom you want to launch Focused Browsing sessions
- Click on the focused browsing toggle. This will open the Focused Browsing sub-menu
Note: If the focused browsing icon is not visible, this feature is likely not enabled in the Hapara Admin Console. Please engage your Hapara admin to enable this feature.
- By default, Highlights pre-selects Focused Browsing for an entire site, however, you can choose to focus learners’ Focused Browsing activity on specific pages within a site. To do this, select ‘Limit browsing to only these pages’.
- Set the time period for your dedicated browsing session by choosing a time from the drop down menu or by typing in the number of minutes you would like to focus browsing.
- Optionally, check “Restore student's original tabs”. Focused browsing closes all other tabs currently opened on your student’s browser. If the “Restore student's original tabs” option is checked, then after the focused time period has finished, each student’s closed tabs are restored automatically.
- Click on the Open Tabs button. A message notification will appear on your screen to remind you that your action will close all other tabs currently opened on your student’s browser:
If you want to cancel, click the Cancel Browser Lock button. Otherwise, the focused browsing activity will start within seconds for the selected student(s).
Focused Browsing works best with sites and URLs that can be browsed to directly, whereas private sites and URLs require a login before they can be accessed. For example you cannot access your gmail account without logging in to Google first.
Usually Focused Browsing handles these scenarios ok, but some private sites redirect the student through multiple URLs before arriving at the desired site and Focused Browsing doesn't currently handle these complex cases.
For example, if a teacher wants to focus her students to a private resource provided by McGraw-Hill, then the Students would need to log in to the McGraw-Hill site before they can access this private resource.
The teacher has the option of asking students to first login to McGraw-Hill before focusing them to catalog.mcgraw-hill.com, but if the teacher knows the login URL then we recommend just specifying both URLs in the same session by:
- Initiate a Focused Browsing session
- Specify all URLs required for browsing and logging in, ie: catalog.mcgraw-hill.com and connected.mcgraw-hill.com in this example
- Click on the focused browsing icon
- Select "Limit browsing to anywhere in these site(s)" if you'd like to prevent students browsing outside these websites
- Click Open Tabs
- This will open two tabs in each student browser - one for each URL. Once the student logs in, they can click on an ebook to view it.
Note: There is no way to force the student to select a specific book - but Highlights will show the book each student selected. If a student chooses a different book from the rest of the class, the Activity Viewer will show this in the "Unique Activity" panel.
We recommend teachers asking students to sign into private URLs before initiating a Focus Browsing session that requires login, but they can specify all necessary URLs if they are known.
When a Focused Browsing session is active, you can easily identify it by the orange indicator next to the Open Tabs button.
You can also easily identify Focused students via the Focused Browsingicon. This will display primarily in the panel of all students engaged in Focused Browsing activities, as well as next to each student/group name in the recipient selection drop down.
Basically, if a student already has a Focused Browsing session in progress, the Focused Browsing icon will display by their name on the Open Tabs drop down list.
You cannot start a new Focused Browsing session unless you stop the current session (or the current session expires). IE: Each student can only belong to ONE Focused Browsing session at a time.
If you need to stop a Focused Browsing session before the expiry of the set period, you can do this by clicking the orange Focused Session button, selecting the session required and clicking on the "End Session" button or clicking on the Focused Browsing icon for that specific session.
You will then be given the option to leave Focused tabs open for students or to close all Focused tabs. Leaving Focused tabs open will allow students to remain working on these sites, but give them the option of opening new tabs and navigating to new pages.
Clicking on the Focused browsing icon in individual student panels, gives you the option to release select students.
If you'd like to focus learners on any of the Google tools Gmail, Drive and Docs tools:
- Open the Focused Browsing dialog
- Check the "Limit browsing to anywhere in these site(s)" option
- Enter the website https://mail.google.com
- Enter the website https://drive.google.com
- Enter the website https://docs.google.com
- Click on the "Open Tabs" buttons to start the Focused Browsing session.
Note: We recommend specifying all three websites. This gives a better user experience for learners who are not logged in and are redirected by Google to a login page.
When a teacher initiates a Focused Browsing session, learners receive a pop up message asking them to save their existing work. If they are ready, learners can accelerate the countdown by clicking Start now:
Late arriving learners are automatically added to the existing focused browsing session when they log on.
That is, if a teacher starts a focused browsing session, and then a few minutes later a learner turns up, when the learner logs into their school account, they will be automatically added to the existing focused browsing session.
If a learner attempts opening another browser page, they will be prevented from doing this until the end of the Focused Browsing session and will see the following message on the blocked page:
When the Focused Browsing session has expired, learners will receive a pop up notification:
Screenshot example of a full learner screen when Focused browsing has finished:
Scheduling Browsing Sessions
You can now set up browsing sessions in advance and schedule them from the Open Tabs modal. Teachers can schedule specific URLs to open for a class at the beginning of a class period, or choose to schedule a session where students will be focused only on specific URLs.
Have an online quiz planned? You’ll be able to schedule it to open automatically at the start of class, giving learners more time to work. Making sub plans? Schedule tabs to open, so learners have everything they need.
Viewing Scheduled Browsing Sessions
A list of Scheduled Browsing Sessions will now be found under Schedule in the Highlights navigation.
From here, you can give each session a title to make them easier to keep track of, or schedule additional sessions.
You can narrow your view of scheduled sessions to just this week, or view all of your scheduled sessions at once.
Editing your Scheduled Browsing session
You can edit your scheduled focused browsing sessions via the All Upcoming Schedules view.
Users can edit any of their upcoming Scheduled Browsing sessions by clicking on the pencil icon on the right end of the session description.
Copy past Scheduled Browsing Sessions
To copy past sessions for future use, simply click the button on the far right of the session. When you do, the normal Scheduled Browsing window will appear, filled in with the same settings as the past session other than the date and time:
If you wish, you can optionally edit these pre-filled settings. Once you are finished filling in the date and time of the session and editing any other settings, click "Schedule for the Class" to complete the Scheduled Session.